The human race fights about religion a lot, so much so that countless wars have been waged in the hopes of figuring out whose religion is the “right” one. With so many battles breaking out over the course of history, it can be easy to forget that most religions teach peace. While the messages of peace can be seen in the texts of the world’s largest religions, it is often the smaller religions that showcase the true idea of peace and spiritual contentment. Over the course of history, religions have come and gone, each one illuminating a different human facet.
China has been home to a vast number of religious groups over the years. After the rise of the Communist Party, many religions began to disappear from the public sphere. One, however, emerged during this period. In 1992, the religion of Falun Gong came onto the scene. Falun Gong is a discipline that helps to better the individual through meditative practices. The core concepts of this religion are truth, self-control, and empathy. The religion incorporates aspects of many of China’s other more ancient religions like Taoism and Confucianism for a well-rounded set of beliefs.
Despite the peaceful intent of the followers of this religion, the Communist Party was not too happy about the idea. By end of the 90s, the followers of Falun Gong were under attack by the government and harassed through a series of slanderous propaganda campaigns. This led to several peaceful protests, which the government responded to by kidnapping and killing thousands of Falun Gong leaders. Though the persecution has subsided to a degree, many Falun Gong still demand justice for the atrocities committed against them by their own government.
A Big Universe Out There
It can often be difficult to discern a religious group from a cult. While both promise answers to the bigger questions of existence, a cult differentiates itself by leading followers to their own ruination. The Universe People are one religious group that has had to deal with being compared to a cult for many years. The Universe People, also known as the Cosmic People of Light Powers, are a religious group from the Czech Republic who believe that aliens from another dimension are circling the Earth and waiting for the human race to prove itself worthy.
The alien race speaks to humanity through the leader of the Cosmic People of Light Powers, Ivo A. Benda. The group accepts that Benda can telepathically communicate with the aliens, and that he relays all important information to his congregation. Mass suicides caused by the Heaven’s Gate cult in the early 2000s brought a lot of heat to the Universe People, with many people believing it was a matter of time before Benda asked his followers to “ascend” in a similar way. Benda, however, has denied the cult associations and continues to promote his telepathic messages to eager followers.
There have been hundreds upon thousands of religions over the course of human history. Academics suggest that there are currently more than 4,000 being practiced currently across the world. Though it can often be hard to discern one religion from another, it is important to understand that each practice has followers who have very specific beliefs. Even if one religion seems more violent or confusing than another, it can be important to keep in mind that most of these groups have very peaceful practices.
Human beings are passionate about their religions. This is most likely due to the fact that religion helps an individual to make peace with some of the most challenging aspects of being alive. By taking the time to learn about the more obscure religions of the world, you will be able to give yourself a better understanding of the ideals that others hold dear. This, in turn, can help to flesh out your own beliefs and give you a broader perspective on the world.